MMFA has many, many comments and examples on these questions. Here are two:
The Atlantic‘s Friedersdorf: Misinformation From Fox And Conservative Media Cost Romney The Election. Conor Friedersdorf wrote for The Atlantic that “right-leaning outlets like Fox News and Rush Limbaugh’s show are far more intellectually closed than CNN or public radio. If you’re a rank-and-file conservative, you’re probably ready to acknowledge that ideologically friendly media didn’t accurately inform you about Election 2012.” Friedersdorf continued:
How many hours of Glenn Beck conspiracy theories did Fox News broadcast to its viewers? How many hours of transparently mindless Sean Hannity content is still broadcast daily? Why don’t Americans trust Republicans on foreign policy as they once did? In part because conservatism hasn’t grappled with the foreign-policy failures of George W. Bush. A conspiracy of silence surrounds the subject. Romney could neither run on the man’s record nor repudiate it. [The Atlantic, 11/7/12]
SF Chronicle Columnist Carroll: “Could It Be That The Fox Model Has Played Out?” In a November 9 column, the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Jon Carroll described watching Fox, MSNBC, and PBS on Election Night. He wrote:
You had to wonder about Fox. This is the third presidential election in which Fox has been a major player, and the Democrats have won two of them. A combination of big money and big propaganda was supposed to carry the day for Romney and the Republicans, but it didn’t.
Could it be that the Fox model has played out? Could it be that the lack of civility and grace, the embrace of the most extreme candidates as long as they were Republicans, indeed, the whole idea behind Roger Ailes’ brainchild — a pimping station for the far right — may be politically bankrupt? [San Francisco Chronicle, 11/9/12]
The same questions could be asked about “leader of the GOP” Rush Limbaugh:
“…every time a new Republican president is elected, Limbaugh gets invited to the White House. Conservative think tanks lavish him with awards. Republican politicians are eager to appear on his show, where they talk to him like an old friend. And among rank-and-file conservatives, Limbaugh is easily the most popular voice in America. Given all that, how can it possibly surprise anyone that lots of black people perceive the conservative movement as a hostile entity?” — The GOP Must Choose: Rush Limbaugh or Minority Voters
The GOP has so many problems it needs to address at this point, if it hopes to ever rebuild itself into a viable choice in a healthy two-party system. Republicans have to see that Fox (and Limbaugh, et al.) have done nothing but drag their entire party into the fringe of rightwing extremism. The Republican Party is currently inhabiting a place where great wealth is protected with pure psych-ops on its non-wealthy base, where facts are politically harmful, racism gets people excited, and stupidity is a badge of honor. What direction the GOP will go from here is anyone’s guess.